Summary: The church’s primary function is to win souls
The Church’s Mandate
James Stewart says “defective evangelism produces defective Christianity and defective Christianity produces defective churches and defective churches produce defective Christianity and defective Christianity makes for defective evangelism, it’s a vicious cycle.
I believe we suffer from defective evangelism partly because it makes us uncomfortable
Because we must approach people who are not like us
If we are going to be the church that we are called to be evangelism must be what we are about
We must invest more in the lives of people than in buildings
These are the words of Jesus as He prepares to exit the earth; they are if you will His final instructions
In 28:19 He says “Go” This should not be interpreted “as you are going”
“Going” may be the most accurate option.
All Christians are commanded to be lifestyle witnesses
It is a priority.
This is the Great Commission—not the Great Option.
We are to go and deliberately or intentionally make Christians
Sometimes it’s by our lifestyle, but lifestyle is not enough
Gods goal is not to create mini you’s without the ability to think or reason
He wants to create people who will think and look like Him but with the ability to choose
He wants people who can function even if you are around
Your lifestyle example is just the spark or the catalyst
That’s why they are to be learners
It is all inclusive our goal is not to move Christians from one fellowship to another; this is not a member swap where we exchange ideas or compare notes about previous mountaintop experiences
This is not an exclusive club it is all inclusive
Jesus’ goal was to reach the gentiles the un-churched, those who had not been spoiled with the faulty rhetoric of those who were supposed to be in the way or in the know
The un-churched, that’s the real target
The way we know this is because He says to baptize them because baptism is identification
It is bringing those who are not like us into the fold
In the Old Testament it was circumcision it is now baptism
The purpose of both was the same—to indicate sharers in the Covenant, and to receive new members into the community of faith.
“This is My covenant, which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: every male among you shall be circumcised.… Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.” Genesis 17:10, 14
“So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and there were added that day about three thousand souls.” Acts 2:41
“In reply Jesus declared, ‘I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again. How can a man be born when he is old?’ Nicodemus asked. ‘Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.’ ” John 3:3–5
“Circumcision was a token of visible membership in the family of God, and of covenant obligation to him. So is baptism. Circumcision was the ordinance which marked, or publicly ratified, entrance into that visible family. So does baptism. Circumcision was an emblem of moral cleansing and purity. So is baptism.